Punjabi Printing: an historical analysis of design, production and consumption from 1800 to today
Category: Ph.D. Research
The subject of this research is an historic look at the typographic developments of printed Punjabi from the beginning of the nineteenth century and the inception of Gurmukhi types. The project considers the fonts that were produced for setting texts in the Punjabi language, and studies various stages of their development such as design, production, typesetting, and printed outputs, as well as the context in which these fonts were being commissioned and used.
The Indo-Aryan language of Punjabi is estimated to be spoken by over a hundred million people worldwide, and is written with two different scripts; Gurmukhi and Shahmukhi. However, despite the widespread use, very little literature exists that focuses on the typography of either scripts, and what is available is limited to a few scant articles and publications, the earliest of which has been uncovered thus far was written in 1996. The history of typography and printing has widely been dominated by Western historians, and this may be the reason why Punjabi printing has not yet been recognized as a subject that merits thorough investigation.